Finding an apartment is probably one of the hardest things to do in life, especially when you are living in a major metropolitan area. Listings go up every few minutes, and are snapped up before you can even make a phone call or email the person who listed the apartment.
Using Craigslist for apartment hunting is great because there are a lot of listings, but it’s not the easiest site to navigate. Furthermore, there are no extra tools to keep track of who you’ve contacted and what the outcome was. Lovely wants to do just that for you with its apartment hunting app.
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Sites like Nestio give you tools to track listings you’ve found and contacted, but Lovely has a set of listings for you to browse.
The company is based in San Francisco and has received funding from investors such as: Keith Rabois, Benjamin Ling, Chris Dixon, Ron Conway and Dave McClure, among others.
Finding your next apartment
Once you sign up for Lovely, which you can do using your Facebook account, you’re immediately shown a map of the area that you’re currently in. You can change the area of course, but it’s a place to start. Along the top of the map are sliders to change the price range you’re looking for, as well as how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’d like. This is a quick way to narrow down the search results.
The Lovely site is very lightweight and focuses on the map of apartment listings. Listings are displayed with the time that they were posted, which helps you not miss out on your dream apartment. It’s amazing what a little visual change and user experience cleanup can do to something that can be rather time-consuming and annoying.
You can drag the map around to find the exact area you’re looking for, and blue markers will show available apartments in that area. You’ll also see a list of apartments that fit your criteria on the right hand side.
Keeping track of the apartments you find
This is where Lovely is impressive. The app turns copying and pasting Craigslist links a thing of the past. You can click on a property, find out more information, contact the landlord, and then update the status of your finding to remember later. The set of actions you can take on a listing are: Contacted, Viewing Scheduled, Viewed, Applied. Along with favoriting a property, these things will keep your search organized and detailed.
Having looked for many apartments in cities like Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, and Philadelphia, I can honestly say that Lovely is giving a treatment to apartment hunting, much like Zillow did for house hunting.
I’d like to see more listings though, even though it appears that Lovely is pulling data in directly from Craigslist. The listings seemed sparse at times in areas of San Francisco, where I know that there are a lot of apartments available. Also, you can’t email Craigslist email addresses at this time through the Lovely site, which still causes you to take extra steps. Other than that, Lovely is a great service that will cut out a lot of time during apartment hunting.
I think that Lovely also lends itself perfectly to a mobile app, so seeing that would make me use the service quite a bit more.